February 2020 | No M2018-02212-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. 2020)

Cain-Swope v. Swope (Tennessee 2020)

A parent can request a discretion from the child support obligation for extraordinary educational expenses. The parents divorced, and the mother was ordered to pay support. The parents engaged on ongoing litigation. Specific to this appeal, the mother filed to modify support, requesting a deviation from support since she paid for the child’s private school tuition. The trial court denied the deviation, finding that the parents made an agreement that the mother would pay tuition. The mother appealed. The court of appeals reversed on this ground. As a matter of procedure, it found the trial court’s reliance on a proposed, but not ordered, agreement was inappropriate. The trial court could deny the request, but the denial should be based on the circumstances, not on a proposed agreement.

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